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CELEBRITY DUETS, Episode 3

Sept. 14, 2006

The third round of this Wayne Brady-hosted Fox singing competition is in the books. Here’s a recap:

Best performer of the night: Hal Sparks, who sang “Come Sail Away” with Dennis DeYoung of Styx fame. It was a perfect choice for Sparks. DeYoung, who usually is intolerable, was decent.

Worst performer of the night: Lucy Lawless tanked her “I Say a Little Prayer” duet with Dionne Warwick. The pairing was terrible: Lawless isn’t a powerful singer, and Warwick always has been rather bland herself. They sang too softly and looked bored with each other toward the end.

Funniest performer of the night: By the time Cheech Marin took the microphone for his duet with Aaron Neville on Bill Withers‘ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” it was obvious that viewers are voting for him out of pity or to spite judge David Foster. Marin continues to be tuneless and out of his element, but he still bops around and makes an effort. There’s little doubt that he’ll stay in the competition another week, but one has to wonder when the producers will bring in old buddy Tommy Chong for some real funny moments.

Strangest performers of the night: A funny thing happened this week: The two perennial favorites, Alfonso Ribeiro and Jai Rodriguez, both were bad. During the first two weeks, both guys won over with the audience because they really can sing and their material has suited them very well. But this week, despite having the usual easy partner to work with — Ribeiro with Denise Williams and Rodriguez with Taylor Dayne — they both suffered.

The proverbial fat lady should sing for: Carly Patterson. The poor girl wants to be a singer so bad, but she’s a fish out of water on this show. This week, she tried to be contemporary with a version of “Beautiful Soul” with teen heartthrob Jesse McCartney. She should hit the Disney channel for a sitcom about a former Olympic gymnast who wants to be a singer.
(Lea Thompson was eliminated last week by viewers.)

— By Mike Madden